Gillian and David – Strathaven Hotel

I was back again at one of my favourite venues, the Strathaven Hotel, for the wedding of the very lovely Gillian and David. I always seem to have a wonderful time at this hotel – must be the warmth and professionalism of Sheila and Malcolm who run the hotel so superbly! I have photographed just about every nook and cranny of the hotel in the past but this time I found a new location – the driveway! It was perfect for a late evening shoot with the sun setting out west and, after dinner, Gillian and David joined Mari and I for a few photos. The results were every bit as good as I hoped – I was well chuffed!

Gillian and David had a wonderful wedding and celebrated with friends and family from all over the globe. Gillian had spent eight years working in Worcester and many of her friends and colleagues made the long journey to sample some Scottish hospitality. Others had travelled from overseas and, by the looks on their faces, the far flung guests may have mistaken the opening dirge for a peculiar local custom! To much laughter the minister noted the timing issue and promised a significant improvement next time round! The congregation soon found their pitch and timing for the subsequent hymns! Well done to all of the singers.

David and Gillian are a perfect match.com couple. Nowadays more and more of the people I photograph find their perfect match this way – another incredible example of how the virtual world becomes real.  I suppose it is especially relevant that I then use the Internet to post photographs and updates of their subsequent wedding, which of course may then be seen online by the far travelled guests and other potential customers. So much of our lives seems to revolve around the Internet these days and when it is good it is a true wonder of the world – if only everything else online was capable of bringing such happiness.

Once again I found myself jacketless in beautiful weather in the gardens of the Strathaven Hotel. The weather was perfect and the gardens were in full bloom. This meant the drinks reception took place on the lawn and what a happy place it is in such conditions. Lots of laughter surrounded the group photos and I would like to thank everyone who participated for playing their part so perfectly.

With Katie off again I had my stand-in helper for the day, my wife Mari and what a grand job she did. Great thing is she’s much cheaper than Katie but don’t tell her I told you!

David and Gillian are off to Sorrento, one of the  most romantic places in Europe and I hope they have the perfect honeymoon. You had the perfect wedding! It was great to finally see little Sophia smile for me, something I couldn’t stop little Emilia doing all day. You both have lovely friends and family and my thanks go out to each and every one of them for their patience and co-operation. Special thanks go to Vicky, Rae, Norrie, Celia, John, Andy, Craig, Cecilia, David, Emilia and Sophia – you guys made sure this was a wonderful wedding for D&G. Thanks again to David and Gillian and may your marriage be blessed with everything good in life. Here are a few reminders of a truly perfect day……

David and Gillian

 

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Claire and Paul – Crutherland House Hotel

Claire and Paul followed in the footsteps of generations of her family and married in the beautiful St Cuthbert’s church in Blantyre. Mum and dad, Marie and Kevin, had married there some thirty years previously, Grandparents many years before, and Kevin spoke warmly of how much that little chapel meant to their family. There was an historical spiritual connection with St Cuthbert’s which filled Kevin and his family with pride, and there certainly appeared to be some divine intervention from above when Father Bogan invited Claire and Paul to recite their marriage vows. Just as they started to read aloud, a wonderful golden sunlit beam shone upon them. It was breath-taking, a very magical moment. Fortunately for me I was positioned just at the right spot at the right moment and clicked away to capture this little miracle happening before me! Spiritual indeed!

Of course it was evident this marriage had been blessed from the moment I arrived at the bride’s house earlier that morning. It was such a warm and welcoming place, a sea of tranquillity, and a beautifully happy home for Claire and her bridesmaids to prepare. They were all glowing, stunningly beautiful girls, and what a pleasure it was to take their picture. Take a bow, Claire, Laura, Rebecca, and Lisa!

The guys scrubbed up well too. It’s rare now in Scotland to have a wedding with the principal men in trousers! Most wear kilts but there was something very special about this wedding with all the principals in traditional morning wear – tails and troosers! I wore the same at my wedding many years previously and it showed great taste! Take a bow, Paul, Shaun, Chris and Paul!

The guests travelled from Blantyre to the majestic Crutherland House Hotel on the outskirts of East Kilbride. Claire and Paul travelled in real style in a brand spanking new Rolls Royce Phantom. What a car! The reception was simply outstanding – the sun shone and everyone spent a couple of hours on the lawns before settling down for the speeches and dinner. A long and memorable day closed to the sounds of The Strides, and although I was long gone, I hear the late night dancing photos will be well worth a look!

Claire and Paul are made for each other. When we met at Chatelherault last year I could tell I was in for a special treat. They both come from great families and it was such a pleasure to be asked to play a part in their special day. Grateful thanks go to Monica and Peter for their generosity, kindness and the opportunity. A huge vote of thanks to Kevin and Marie for making me feel so welcome. To Liz and Joe, Shaun, Chris, Paul, Father Bogan, Laura, Rebecca, Lisa and wee Sophie, a special thanks for doing everything so well and for looking so good. To Claire and Paul I wish you health and happiness for ever. You were a pleasure to photograph. Here are a few reminders of a truly perfect day……

Claire and Paul

 

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The Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final – My Front Row View

The Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final – My Front Row View

It will go down as one of the all-time great finals. A five set gladiatorial thriller between two of the best players ever to grace the game of tennis. When Novak Djokovic met Roger Federer for the 2014 Gentlemen’s Singles title at the All England Lawn Tennis Club on Sunday, I was there. I was there in a front row seat for the greatest sporting day of my life. I was a few feet from the net and watched, mesmerised, as the final was played out on what can only be described as the greatest, most breath-taking, 3D HD experience known to man – real life!

I’ve not had much time to gather my thoughts and filter my photographs so I may add to this initial batch over the coming days but here are a few of my favourites that tell the story of an incredible afternoon. And yes, my man won!